‘Robredo’s revenge’

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(The following column of mine, with the same title, was published on Sept. 21, 2012, more than a month after Jesse Robredo’s tragic death, in the Philippine Daily Inquirer when I was still writing for the paper. I am reprinting it, among other reasons, for his widow, Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo, to read it and realize the kind of party she is running under, which is using her this time, after they had used her husband. I hope this is forwarded to her, and I hope she cares enough to demand from President Aquino an explanation.)

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WHAT the late Secretary Jesse Robredo could not accomplish in life in the past two years, he did through his death: the removal of Mr. Rico E. Puno from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and end his hold over the Philippine National Police.

This is not being facetious over Robredo’s tragic death but expressing condemnation of the treatment he got under President Aquino, who reduced him to a figurehead at the department by de facto putting the PNP under the command of Puno, his shooting-range buddy and confidante.

The PNP is to the DILG secretary what the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is to the National Defense secretary. The arrangement Robredo suffered at the DILG was as if Aquino ordered Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to turn over supervision of the Armed Forces to an undersecretary, and for him to concentrate on the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Administration.

The DILG secretary actually has little real control over local governments, especially over the powerful cities, which are chartered corporations that are practically independent kingdoms. The DILG secretary’s main responsibility, as well as source of power, is theoretically his control over the PNP, which, with its 140,000 mostly armed personnel stationed in every corner of the archipelago, is the most powerful organization in the country. It is bigger than the 120,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines. This is through his designation, under Republic Act No. 6975 of 1990, as chairman of the National Police Commission, which is the body supervising the PNP.

Yet, Aquino practically stripped Robredo of that power. The recent revelations on Puno’s supervision over the PNP’s questioned purchases of pistols and assault rifles confirmed that he had a tight hold over the police, cloaked by his designation as DILG “undersecretary for peace and order.”

Even media seem to have forgotten that Robredo legally had authority over the PNP, with news reports occasionally in the past two years referring to Puno as the Napolcom chairman. Even the most visible member of the Napolcom has been its vice chairman and executive director Eduardo Escueta, formerly the chief of staff and favorite protégé of Senator Edgardo Angara. Imagine Robredo’s frustration as he suspected that his two deputies most probably got their marching orders from two other powerful figures.

Campaign post in social media for candidacies of Roxas and Robredo, shamelessly credit-grabbing for former President Arroyo’s Ro-Ro “nautical highway” pet project.

Campaign post in social media for candidacies of Roxas and Robredo, shamelessly credit-grabbing for former President Arroyo’s Ro-Ro “nautical highway” pet project.

The anomalous – even humiliating – arrangement for Robredo’s position at the DILG was, in fact, revealed during the Luneta hostage crisis of August 2010. Robredo himself talked about how he was reduced by Aquino into a bystander during the episode, with the President ordering Puno to direct – incompetently it turned out – the resolution of the crisis. Recently, Naga vice mayor Gabby Bordado disclosed that Robredo even cried over the episode, as he was put out of the loop during the crisis.

Aquino protected his buddy
The interagency Incident Investigation and Review Committee in 2010 recommended that administrative and criminal cases be filed against 15 officials, including Puno, in relation to the hostage-taking incident. But Aquino protected his buddy, and ignored the report so that none of the officials was made accountable – to the continuing anger of the relatives and government of the eight Hong Kong victims killed.

Next to Lourdes Sereno’s designation as Chief Justice, Puno’s control over the PNP had been the most outrageous appointment made by President Aquino. Other than his being a long-time friend and staff of Mr. Aquino, Puno’s only other qualification that comes remotely close to having an idea what the PNP job was about, was his obsession with guns, which he shared with Aquino. Puno is not even a lawyer, as Napolcom vice chairman Escueta is, and it is not even known if he has a college degree.

Yet, Aquino had appointed him to oversee the PNP, an insult to Robredo, whom he would profusely praise after his death as the tuwid-na-daan hero. Crime rates have soared, and illegal drugs have proliferated so much that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime identified the country as one of three countries – together with China and Burma – that are global manufacturing centers for shabu. These are all problems the PNP has terribly failed to address.

Nevertheless, Aquino for two years had Puno – the real tuwid-na-daan poster boy – supervising the PNP. Why?

Could it be jueteng, which only the PNP really can eradicate? After all, with a daily take of P50 million, or P18 billion yearly, according to Senator Panfilo Lacson, its loose change can finance the Liberal Party’s electoral campaign kitty next year. Could it be that explosive confidential reports on jueteng were what Puno had been trying to retrieve at Robredo’s private office in his condominium?

Amid all the praises he heaped on Robredo during his wake, Aquino was deafeningly silent on the efforts by Leni’s husband to eradicate jueteng. Robredo, according to his allies, had become despondent over his failure to do so. But how could he fight the gambling lords without the PNP under his control? Jueteng operators, in fact, had become so audacious as to have moved into Robredo’s home province, an insult to him as he had been proud that he had eradicated the vice in Naga City when he was mayor many years ago.

I would like to think that Puno’s fall is Robredo’s revenge. I may be too naively optimistic though, as Aquino has announced that he wants PNP chief Nicanor Bartolome to replace Puno, which would simply mean putting his factotum’s factotum to the post.

Mar Roxas – if he manages to get to be DILG secretary – is not street-smart enough to outmaneuver the gambling lords and their police allies. And can he resist the idea that jueteng funds could ensure the victory next year of his grandpa’s righteous, incorruptible Liberal Party?

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
www.rigobertotiglao.com

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25 Comments

  1. Gene Gellekanao on

    Leni should wake up. Her husband’s death was not an accident. Where is that survivor who had his vest ready? She should not trust Pinoy or Mar. GOD forbid! I hope nothing happens to her during the campaign. She should instead resign from the party and dig deep into the cause of her husband’s death.

  2. Ambition pure and simple, if she really care about her husband`s agony and I think she doesn`t. My simple opinion. I hope she read this piece of opinion from Sec. Tiglao. If she really care.

  3. Frank C Cornejo on

    How could she ignore all of these? What is really in her mind? This must be the reason the family seem divided in Lenny’s accepting P’Noys offer. Hope there is no revenge being planned. We have enough problems of our own. The more reason why people reject another term for daang matuwid. Poor Leni!

  4. Mar Roxas and she know that they have used her husband,.
    It is now their turn to use PNoy and his friends and allies.
    Vote for them and the country we see and benefits from the lessons
    that they both learned for this adminsitration. Justice we will be served.

  5. Just as I thought Mrs Robredo allowed herself to be used by this bunch of stupid damned fool idiots and if they succeed winning the contest…God forbid I would not be surprised this poor widow would be discarded like rubbish in a bin. She would end up a nobody, zilch. A great deal of good votes would be wasted.

  6. Not much Leni is affected by the most serious humiliation of Jessie as she is only a mere wife who is now in heavenly places of enjoying the idea of the soon to be Vice-President of the Philippines, but I am sure it is the children who will bear most of the sufferings. It is unthinkable that Leni had not come to her senses the rigorous sufferings of her children on this great humiliation if she continue to be with the enemy. Leni has no choice but to resign and abandon her bid for vice president, if she cares about the dignity and reputation of her family. It is greatly unconscionable for a mother to prefer fame over the dignity of her family. Napaka walanghiya na akong Ina kung maaatim ko sa aking budhi ang ganitong mga pangyayari sa buhay na ipinagdurusa ng aking mga anak. The very first thing to reconcile is my own conscience, and I hope Leni Robredo will get that.

  7. or maybe Pnoy ,the master of Bribery, bribe Leni Robredo a million of Pesos, in return to be the Vice President of Mr. epal roxas..
    Please feed your mind ms. leni robredo…

    • I disagree, but it is not that remote to happen. I cannot think of anything else that can mitigate the enormous moral liability of Pnoy against the abuse and exploitation of the then Jesse Robredo for his excellent public servant’s performance as DILG Secretary, for maybe, millions could do the trick to the wife, or maybe not, the master of bribery knows best.

  8. kawawang leni!! ang mga taong maaring may kinalaman sa biglaan pagkamatay ng asawa niya ang ngayon ay mga gumagamit sa kanya upang manalo sa eleksyon ,at kung papalarin, sakaling manalo siya sa pagka -bise,kailangan niyang muling paimbestigahan ang pagkamatay ng asawa niya.
    Isang serkumstansya na nakakapagtaka,na ang mataas na official ng gobyerno ay mawalan ng reserved seat sa eroplano,upang idivert siya na sumakay sa private jet,na halos naka=stand by na sa pagkuha sa kanya.at wala mang malinaw na imbestigasyon kung ano ang totoong nangyari, at halatang hinayaan ng gobyerno ni aquino na pagtakpan ang mga pagkukulang ng may ari ng airplane.di ba!hehehe!

    Ito ay haka-haka lang !! imposible ba mangyari!! at bakit ang opisina ni jessie ay niransack at lahat ng alam nilang ibidensya na masasabit sila ay kinuha at nilinis na,na hindi man lamang nagreklamo ang ungas na sina aquino at mar,at hindi pinaimbestigahan.

  9. That is a good news clips Mr. Tiglao! I do remember that Mr. Jess Robredo legacy is to eradicate andto put the jueteng lords to jail.From his hard work , he works silently in compiling of evidences against the suspected gambling lords. Many of them are political allies of the LP and friends of the admin which are the protectors and financiers. Before the death of Jess Robredo, he is about to file cases against the bigwigs of the LP and friends of the admin. The efforts of Jess Robredo was known to the President and advisers. Then came the tragedy to the death of the beloved Secretary and the lone survivor of the plane crash was now nowhere to be found. The pilot of the plane was known as the one of the best pilot and instructor of the aviation sector and the two engine aircraft was in good condition to fly and the investigations made by the aviation authority was the plane can land with only one engine. So , there it goes, another good man was killed because of politics gaya ni Ramon Magsaysay!

  10. Leni robredo jumped into jesse robredos ‘tsinelas’ even before they were cold.
    A prime example of opportunity from ‘dead men’s shoes’

  11. It is a certainty that Mrs. Robredo knew everything that her husband had to endure as DILG Secretary, so why did she agree to be used just the same? I suggest you ask the AMLC to find out.

  12. isidro c. valencia on

    Day One, when PIGNOY assumed the presidency, CONJUGAL PRESIDENCY is already working, with MAR umi Roxas as FIRST PERSON, dictating the Queen of Malacañan what to do.

    MARU mi knows DILG’s Chief is very vital to win the presidency in 2016. Si MAR umi ba at DRIL Oink ang nagharang SA CONFIRMATION ni Jessie?

    The conjugal presidency twisted Leni’s mind to accept the offer as Vice President as there are no “normal politicians with the right mind” willing to be in tandem with MAR umi. Or perhaps, is this one way to redeem bad deed of “foul play” in Jessie’s bad death? Hinde ba sila makatulog?

  13. Any adoring wife would support her husband through thick and thin. If she was unaware of what Abnoy did to her husband, she should know now and do something about it. Shame! Jesse must be somersaulting in his grave. Wake up Lenny it’s not to late, honor thy husband.

  14. Necropolitics is a mainstay of LP campaigns, by exploiting death and milking it for all it is worth by creating myths and peddling emotions. It distracts from the lack of a platform and policies.
    I thought leni robredo would have had more sense than to be used by LP/Roxas, and more respect for her husbands memory, but even she plumbed new depths when she recently went on a campaign sortie with a jesse robredo lookalike in tow! That is truly distateful, and bordering on sick.

    The Looney Toons who follow Mr Magoo of politics (pnoy aquino), are clearly a morbid, morose, and moribund bunch.

    • rene catalasan on

      How would rate and compare Leni Robredo vis-a-vis the rest of the VP
      candidates? Shall appreciate your honest opinion.

  15. Ruben V. Calip on

    Thank you, Mr. Tiglao, for reminding the people and Mrs. Robredo of how dishonest, rotten and vicious the BSAquino regime is. How SHAMELESS indeed is Mar Roxas and his LP co-conspirators including BSAquino for claiming that the Ro-Ro, which has invigoriated thje Philippine economy and local economies with the opening and refurbishing of more ro-ro during the presidency of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is an achievement of the Aquino mal-administration.
    May God strike them down for their corruption, dishonesty and hypocrisy.

  16. jesus p. blanco on

    Surely, the late Robredo talked to her wife regarding all things inside Malacanang, including his sentiments. Unless otherwise, the couple arent practicing private conversations on political consultations. Assuming they were on talking terms, I wonder why is it that Mrs. Robredo still allow hetself be used by the group of Mar and Pinoy. Is she too naive or hiding something for a revenge?

    • Leodegardo Pruna on

      Can’t understand Leni. The accolades heaped on her husband whom this administration abusively used are all to appease her. Now is her time to be used and abused. I hope that she wakes up soonest before her life is thoroughly ruined by opportunists. God bless the Philippines.

  17. Well, Leni Robredo may say she does not know about the real score between the relationship with PNoy and the LP’s hence she broke when the pressure of accepting to be the tandem of Boy driver Mar. Or, Leni is now hungry with power and sure wealth when she is VP, God forbid. She would not mind being a tradpol so quickly at the expense of her husband’s credibility and good performance.

  18. I hope Mrs. Robredo can read this or she doesn’t care about it? Maybe just maybe she knew it and pretend doesn’t know. Typical TraPo?

  19. “Eradicating jueteng is not on top of my priorities” . This is what Abnoy said when he took over the presidency!!

  20. art divinagracia on

    That’s why Leni Robredo has the wrong place, wrong time and wrong choices of political pary she joined. She is sleeping with an enemy.

  21. gabriela silang on

    wondered all along why robredo finally gave in to be mar’s running mate.all the while i thought she would stand her ground and refuse. unfortunately, she wasnt able to see thru the haze.. poor leni…jesse’s been abused. now you are being used.